ROUGEMONT, N.C. (WNCN) – A Durham ATV Club is preparing to build new trails for ATV and dirt bike riders after a couple in Rougemont, North Carolina decided to donate use of their land for this cause.
Jamal Lewis is president of the Southern Soul ATV Club, a group of ATV riders who go on monthly rides in Durham. Lewis said his mission is to serve as a mentor and give young people in Durham something to do.
“The ultimate goal is to change the way the kids look at the world right now,” Lewis said. “I feel like we can make a change and make a way through ATVs and doing it the right way.”
Lewis said he has been working for a while to get help with finding more safe places for dirt bikers and ATV riders in Durham to ride.
Right now, he said there are not many places where ATV riders can ride in Durham, and that’s why many riders are on the city streets.
Lewis said his group must ride on the city streets too, to get to their trails.
While Lewis said his club obeys the traffic laws, CBS 17 recently showed a special report where some ATV riders in Durham have been causing traffic concerns for motorists.
Some videos CBS 17 obtained showed ATV riders stopping traffic on North Duke Street and passing cars in no passing zones on county roads.
“I’ve been fighting this and trying to speak with people who will help get these riders off the streets,” Lewis said.
Shortly after CBS 17’s special report aired in mid-August, Lewis said he met with his friend Brian Stoner and his wife, Lee, who own farmland on Red Mountain Road in Rougemont.
Stoner said he and his wife decided to allow Lewis’s non profit group to use the 140 acres of their land to build ATV trails for riders.
“We love their mission, we support anything where you have enhanced mentorship,” Stoner said.
Lewis said he’s excited to get to work on building these trails on the property.
“To be able to live my dreams, help people, and have someone to help me help someone, that’s amazing,” Lewis said.
While Lewis has permission to use the land to build the trails, he said he still needs help with building the trails. He has started a GoFundMe page to help raise money to purchase machinery.